Cheltenham lapdancers 'kidnapped nightclub boss to get £42,000 payment'


A group of lapdancers kidnapped and beat a nightclub boss after he failed to pay them more than £42,000, a court heard.

Strippers Mandy Cool, Stephanie Pye and Rachel Goodchild and their manager Charlotte Devaney, who deny all charges, allegedly bundled the man into a car and took him to a remote field where, it is claimed, they attacked him.

A jury at Bristol Crown Court heard businessman Curtis Woodman hired the  to entertain racegoers during the famous Cheltenham Festival in March 2012.

Chalottte Devaney, 34, arranged payment of £150 each per night for the women to work as hostesses and dancers.

Although their contracts stipulated that “bikinis and nipple tassles” had to be worn at all times, the venue was shut down by officials on its third night because of licensing breaches.

Mr Woodman told the court the women were not entitled to payment because they broke the rules and “insisted on taking their clothes off”, causing him loss of earnings through the club’s closure.

The court was told that they had already earned “considerable amounts of money”, including £42,000 from one customer, and after months of chasing Mr Woodman for payment, they travelled to confront him on 3 September 2012.

Devaney and three of the dancers - Cool, 29, Pye, 31, and Goodchild, 24 - were joined by two brothers, Alexander Morris, 23, and Robert Morris, 27, found him at work in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

Giving evidence in police interview, Mr Woodman said: “They bundled me into the car and they said 'right, we are taking you off to have a talk'.”

He said he was beaten by one of the men and another stole his watch and demanded he handed over money.

Jurors were told the Breitling watch, worth £4,650, was found in Alexander Morris' anus following his arrest.

During the journey, a Stanley knife carried by Alexander Morris was pushed into Mr Woodman's leg, the court heard.

Mr Woodman's phone was confiscated and unsuccessful attempts were made to transfer money using a NatWest app, prosecutor Martin Steen told the jury.

“He was then persuaded to ring the bank and arrange for a transfer using the details of Charlotte Devaney's bank card,” Mr Steen said.

“£4,800 was transferred into Charlotte Devaney's account.”

Mr Woodman was taken 100 metres down an agricultural track before he was taken out of the vehicle by the Morris brothers, it was alleged.

“They told him they were going to have some fun,” Mr Steen said. “That involved hitting him to the face and kicking him to the face, causing him to bleed.”

The court was told that at around 6.30pm, after visiting a fish and chip shop, the group dumped Mr Woodman on a residential street in Cheltenham.

Alexander Morris, from Southampton, has admitted carrying a Stanley knife on the day of the alleged kidnap.

He denies a charge of robbery, along with Robert Morris, also from Southampton, concerning Mr Woodman's Breitling watch.

The brothers are also charged with robbery, concerning the £60 in cash Mr Woodman gave them. They deny the charge.

Devaney, of London, Pye, of Sutton Coldfield, Cool, of Southampton and Goodchild, of Southampton, each deny a charge of kidnap.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
TVSPOILER ALERT: It's all coming together as series returns to form
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine